CONFLICTS OF INTEREST PROCUREMENT POLICY
In the event a member of the solicitation process has a conflict of interest, that member must immediately withdraw. If a member is uncertain whether a conflict of interest is present, the member should consult with the City Legal Department.
Project Managers, Assessment Teams, Project Evaluation Committees
If you plan to participate in a purchasing decision, you have a responsibility to advise City Purchasing if there is any potential conflict of interest. A conflict of interest may be any financial personal interest or gain towards any particular company within an industry in which a purchasing decision is made. By immediately alerting City Purchasing, the conflict of interest can be considered and referred to the City Legal Department for a determination prior to your involvement in the solicitation process.
Some Departments hire consultants to help plan for projects prior to the notification process. Departments have an obligation to ensure that they do not create a de facto Sole Source condition, or an uneven playing field, by allowing such Consultants to gain an unfair advantage and then compete for the major acquisition work.
In certain instances, consultants may perform preliminary, strategic or planning work on projects that may eventually lead to a City Purchasing acquisition through an IFB or RFP/RFQ contract. Likewise, consultants may perform work as a consultant that exposes them to information which would give them an advantage not available to other competitors in a later City Purchasing bid process. The consultant may ask for advice from the City or may benefit from City guidance as to whether they will be eligible to compete for a bid that may result from the consultant's preliminary work.
The Department is to prevent any condition that might create a de facto Sole Source for the consultant on future work, or that might create an unlevel playing field for competition by interested companies for the future work. Departments should consider whether the entire acquisition is best served by a single competitive bid process that includes design, scope, and implementation. In some situations, the consultant may be able to conduct the preliminary work and also compete for the major acquisition without posing any conflict of interest.
Such situations include, but are not limited to, situations where the preliminary consultant has (a) access to material information that would not be available to other bidders, or (b) any opportunity to influence the strategy, specifications, scope of work, or solutions for the future acquisition in a manner that favors the preliminary consultant.